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Monday, 27 October 2014

The Pursuit of Perfection




I have a confession to make. I set up this blog a while ago and this is the first time I’ve actually posted anything. Sad, I know. The worst bit is, it’s not because I haven’t had time or something to say but rather because nothing I wrote seemed ‘perfect’ for that inaugural blog.

I’ve written a few other pieces, even given them cool titles. But none of them seemed quite right for my first blog. None of them were perfect. I mean, that first one’s got to be incredible! Awe inspiring! Have everyone suddenly flocking to this particular blog as the most wonderful in the world!

Ha ha. Yeah, right.

But still, I kept procrastinating. Kept waiting for that perfect idea. Kept finding a thousand other things to do while I considered my options.

Pathetic. Right? Crippled by perfection.

Now, I have no problem with perfection – in the fields of construction, engineering, medicine, computer programming, and a thousand other little things I use on a daily basis. I count on the fact that those things have been made to perfection, every time. In those fields, where the smallest imperfection can kill, I am a definite advocate for their perfection.

But when it comes to life, creativity and relationships, the pursuit of perfection can be crippling. Our quest for perfection becomes such an issue that we don’t even try. And that is a definite problem.

Being so afraid of making a mistake that we don’t do it at all.
Walking away from a relationship because there’s a chance one day it might fail.
Spending our whole lives missing out on joy because it might come with heartache.

The truth we seem to often to forget is that we’re human. And humans make mistakes. We are, almost by definition, imperfect. We grow through our mistakes, not in spite of them. It is our imperfections that set us apart and make us who we are.

Now, maybe I’m the only one in this world crippled by this – but I have a pretty good idea there are more like me. More people missing out on so much joy, so many great experiences, so much growth, simply because they’re afraid of not doing it right. Like me, they’re crippled by perfection.

And like me, I hope they realise that it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to try, and fail. Because maybe, just maybe, the thrill is in the trying.